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EARTH DAY - Is every Day!

HOW IT ALL STARTED?

Earth Day was started in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson - a Democrat from Wisconsin, as a day of education about environmental issues. So, this year is the 51st anniversary. Earth Day is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living. Senator Nelson was inspired by the protests of the 1960s to begin Earth Day as a “national teach-in on the environment” in university campuses in the US. By doing this, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight. Nelson promulgated the Earth Day concept at a conference in Seattle in the autumn of 1969 and encouraged the entire nation to get involved. He later recalled: “The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters”.

The harm done by pollution had begun to dawn on the Americans by early 1960s as factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few legal consequences. Affluence was shown with big, gas-swigging cars. Only a small portion of the American population was familiar with–let alone practiced–recycling. This led to a surge in the number of activists devoted to discussing issues related to industrial pollution, a significant part of which was Senator Nelson.

On the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, demonstrations were held in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and most other American cities. The first Earth Day was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970 for example;


· After two years of Earth Day 1970 celebration, Congress passed the Clean Water Act.

· After another one year, Congress again passed the Endangered Species Act.

· Later, it also passed Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.


These laws protected millions of people from diseases and also protected hundreds of species from extinction.

In 1990, the Earth Day became a global event with almost 200 million people in 141 countries mobilized and projecting the environmental issues onto the global platform. That same year, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson for his role as Earth Day founder with the “Presidential Medal of Freedom”. This is one of the prestigious honours given to civilians in the U.S.



In the year 2000, Earth Day was centered on global warming and clean energy. The global event was celebrated with 5000 environmental groups and hundreds of millions of people from 184 countries all over the world.


EARTH DAY THEME


The theme for the worldwide event this year is “Restore Our Earth”. The focal point is on

how to restore the world's ecosystems through natural processes, green technologies and innovative thinking. Climate change and coronavirus painfully remind us of the harm we've caused to earth but “Restore Our Earth” reminds us of the opportunities that lay ahead. So, we have to “Restore Our Earth” not just so that we can care for our natural earth, but because we live on it. Each of us needs a healthy Earth to support our livelihoods, health and happiness. A healthy planet is thus a necessity."

The topics that will be discussed at the digital event on Wednesday include:

Climate and environmental literacy,

Climate restoration technologies,

Reforestation efforts,

Regenerative agriculture,

Equity and environmental justice,

Citizen science,

Cleanups and so on.

Earth Day Network, a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities, announced this year theme after due consultation with the members of the world’s largest network in 192 countries. Earth Day Network announces the theme for the coming year after each Earth Day event.

Earth Day Themes for the last ten years are shown below:

Year Theme:


2021 Restore our Earth

  • 2020 Climate Action

  • 2019 Protect Our Species

  • 2018 End plastic pollution

  • 2017 Environmental and Climate literacy

  • 2016 “Trees for the Earth”

  • 2015 It’s our turn to lead.

  • 2014 Green cities

  • 2013 The face of Climate Change

  • 2012 Mobilize the Earth

  • 2011 Clean the Air


WHAT TO YOU DO FOR EARTH DAY?



Earth Day celebrations keep growing yearly since it started. Previous activities have ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Things to do this year include finding a beautiful quote about the Earth, printing it out and framing it. This is not just a good reminder of Earth Day; it is also a reminder to have in your home year-round. Other activities that can help us to celebrate the Earth Day include:


1. Create a plastic reduction plan. You can involve your family or senior community.

2. Get friendly with a farmer. Visit an area farmer’s market or take a farm tour to understand more about where your food comes from and how it gets to market.

3. Clean up Your neighbourhood.

4. Plant a tree. This cleans up the air and thereby reduce climate change. You may also plant flowers and vegetables for your own or others’ enjoyment.

5. Go on a Nature Walk. Stroll a local botanical garden or park on your own or with family and friends.

6. Integrate art projects







7. Go bird-watching.

8. Learn About Carbon Footprints.

9. Simple Soil Science

10. Make an Earth Day Collage. Make a slide show or photo book of beautiful natural images for yourself or friends and family members who can’t get out. Record bird calls, a babbling brook or other nature sounds.

So, it’s time to get up and celebrate the Earth Day on April 22, and see then how many you can keep doing every day.


Did you Know? A highlight of the United Nations’ Earth Day celebration in New York City is the ringing of the Peace Bell, a gift from Japan, at the exact moment of the vernal equinox.





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